Family Missions Company
Family Missions Company sends out lay Catholic families and singles to proclaim Jesus Christ and His Gospel to the poor! Since our ministry’s founding as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1997, we have trained and sent out hundreds of families and singles to serve as evangelists and servants to the poor around the world. We feel blessed as we watch our missionary family continue to grow – however, billions of people are still waiting to hear the Good News.
Is God calling you to GO?
“Prayer gives us strength for great ideals, for keeping up our faith, charity, purity, generosity. Prayer gives us light by which to see and to judge from God’s perspective and from eternity.” – Saint John Paul II
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” – Mark 1:35
Our missionary vocation is a call from God. This vocation emerges from our relationship with God, a relationship rooted in constant prayer and praise. We are devoted to personal and community prayer as families, and in every work of mission. We imitate Christ in all things, including His devotion to prayer.
“The missionary must be a Saint.” – Mission of the Redeemer
Prayer draws us closer to Jesus, Who calls us to lives of ongoing conversion, free from serious sin. We live in virtue and the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, purity, modesty, chastity, and generosity.
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path.” -Psalm 119:105
“They are centered on the Word of God and at the same time are justified and sustained by it.” -Pope Benedict XVI
We love the Word of God, it is always on our lips and in our hearts, it is the Truth that we proclaim. We spend time in reading, reflecting on, and studying the Bible and the teachings of the Church – Lectio Divina.
“To celebrate the Eucharist, ‘to eat His flesh and drink His blood,’ means to accept the wisdom of the Cross and the path of service. It means that we signal our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, as Christ has done.” – Saint John Paul II
We live fully the Sacraments that we have received. As missionaries we strive to fulfill our Baptismal calling as Priest, Prophet and King. Those of us who are married live our vocation of this sacrament in holiness. We live lives of repentance and sacramental grace. We frequently receive communion and the sacrament of reconciliation, although at times, with those whom we serve, we suffer the poverty of infrequent reception of the sacraments.
“All those who believed were together and had all things in common; they sold their property and possessions and shared them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God.” -Acts 2:44-47
“That they may be one even as we are one.”-John 17:22
We take to heart Jesus’ prayer that we be “one,” and do nothing to compromise our unity. Yet we rejoice in our diversity – families and singles, young and old, men and women find their place in FMC. We treat one another with respect and understanding, we deal directly with one another, speaking truth in love and receiving correction with humility and openness.
“Do the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as unto the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:6-8
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” -Mark 10:45
Our lives are poured out in service to one another and the people to whom God sends us. We have servants’ hearts and are proactive in our willingness to work and take initiative in seeking work for the Kingdom of Heaven. We are observant of the needs of others and willing to assume the service of leadership.
“Take care, then, to be firmly grounded in the teachings of the Lord and his apostles so that you may prosper in all your doings both in body and in soul, in faith and in love, in the Son, and in the Father and in the Spirit, in the beginning and in the end.” – Ignatius of Antioch
We are Roman Catholic and we love the Catholic Church, and are formed and inspired by her teaching. We are universal in our scope of evangelization. Sent by our Bishop, and received by Bishops wherever we go, we always work with the blessing of the Pastors where we minister. We contribute to the needs of the Church where we work as missionaries, while not undermining local ministry. We seek to love our Protestant brothers and sisters, and are ecumenical in our attitude. At the same time, our love of the Church manifests itself in our devotion to the intercession of Saints, love for our Blessed Mother, and a reliance upon the Eucharist.
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15
“Not to preach the Gospel would be my undoing, for Christ himself sent me as his apostle and witness.” – Pope Paul VI
As missionaries we bear a twofold witness to the Gospel – through commitment to holiness of life and prayer, and through our verbal witness: preaching, teaching, and testifying. We evangelize with parresia (boldness & outspokenness). Sensitive to the most effective methods for speaking the truth in love, we enculturate the Gospel as we seek to draw all creation into a loving relationship with Jesus.
“The world calls for and expects from us obedience and humility. Without this mark of holiness, our word will have difficulty in touching the heart of modern man.” – Pope Paul VI
We are obedient to authority – to Christ, to the Church, to our Bishops, to the leadership of FMC, and to the leaders of our families and teams. We give our joyful obedience as a service to God and to one another. We never misuse authority, but use it to serve one another.
Embracing Gospel Poverty
“We are to be head over heels in love for God. We are to be so in love that we sing to him in our hearts, always and everywhere. Every fiber of our being, heart, soul, and mind is to become wholly love. People in love are not much concerned with things. They are person oriented, not thing centered. A consumerist is not in love.” – Fr. Thomas Dubay
We are beggars for the Gospel. We detach ourselves from our possessions and live on the providence of others in order to serve the poor and live in solidarity with the poor. Though poor ourselves, we live lives of generosity to the poor, showing a preferential option for the poor, as the Church teaches.
Spirit Led & Open to the Charisms
“For the Spirit moves where it will.” -John 3:8
We follow the movement and guidance of the Holy Spirit wherever and however He leads. We live lives of praise, openness to the spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare, and discernment of the Spirit’s guidance. We depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. Following the Spirit, our missionary lives are lives of great flexibility and itinerancy.
“Family ‘is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament'”– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2204
We live our lives in FMC more as a family than as an organization. We are brothers and sisters in Christ; our missionary communities are like “families” of missionaries. We are laity, open to families and children as part of our lives, part of our prayer in community, and a vital part of our ministry to the world. We are pro-life, pro-child, pro-marriage. We believe, as the Church teaches, that family, the domestic church, is the basic unit of the universal Church, and that witness of families in mission is essential and effective.
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13
The call to missions is a call to sacrifice. We lay down our lives, our homes, our cultures, our language, and even our families and friends, to follow Jesus to the very ends of the earth. Inspired by the supreme sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, which we proclaim, we die to ourselves so that the world may know Him. As missionary families and teams, we sacrifice for one another in love, allowing the witness of our unity to draw others into the fullness of the Christian life.
Family Missions Company’s story begins almost 40 years ago, in the small southern town of Abbeville, Louisiana. Frank Summers, a young, successful attorney, and his beautiful wife Genie, an up and coming journalist, had achieved a great degree of financial and social success in their hometown. Together with their only child, Beau, they embraced a completely secular lifestyle. It wasn’t until their marriage seemed headed for certain divorce, that they experienced a profound conversion, returned to their Catholic roots, and began seeking God’s will for their lives in earnest.
After spending some time evangelizing in Abbeville, they felt called to sell all that they had and go out as a family into foreign missions, to “proclaim the Gospel to every creature”! At that time, they struggled to find any support or structure to help Catholic families become missionaries. Following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, they embraced lives of poverty and zeal for the Gospel, travelling as missionaries all over the world. As their family grew, they served in Tonga, American Samoa, Mexico, Columbia, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and Micronesia. God blessed them with 6 more children, and they experienced the joy of witnessing together as a Catholic family.
When in 1995, God called the Summers back to the United States, they discerned that there was a great need in the Church for more Catholic families and singles to give their lives to mission. They also knew that those who are called to be missionaries need preparation and support, and they knew that God was calling them to draw upon their many years of experience to help others to give their lives to mission. The fruit of this call is Family Missions Company. Frank and Genie founded FMC as a Catholic nonprofit organization based in Abbeville, and began the work of forming and sustaining lay missionaries.
Since our foundation, FMC has helped hundreds of families and singles to answer the call to give their lives completely to Jesus as lay foreign missionaries. In obedience to the Holy Spirit, we imitate Christ, follow the teachings of the Church, and are enriched by the wisdom and example of our founders, Frank and Genie.
As Frank writes, “We are an organized apostolate of Catholic laity dedicated to missionary evangelism. Jesus has called us to proclaim His Gospel to all creation, to the ends of the earth. Each of us is called to holiness of life. We find our ‘rule’ for life in the teachings of the New Testament. As missionaries, we are called to live God’s Word as Jesus did, to proclaim it boldly to others, to work it into the fabric of human society and culture, to extend God’s love to all, especially to the oppressed and suffering poor. We accept our daily crosses and redemptive sufferings, in poverty, humility, and a sometimes hidden life. We are a people of praise, thanksgiving, and rejoicing, really happy to be among those sent out by the Lord.”
“Take care, then, to be firmly grounded in the teachings of the Lord and his apostles so that you may prosper in all your doings both in body and in soul, in faith and in love, in the Son, and in the Father and in the Spirit, in the beginning and in the end.”
– Ignatius of Antioch –
According to the Code of Canon Law, Canons 312 and 322 we understand our status to be that of a private association of the Christian Faithful.
“I am pleased to affirm that this group is in good standing with the Diocese and that I have no knowledge of any reason why their good works should not be supported. I welcome any questions you might have.” – Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, Diocese of Lafayette, LA
The mission of Family Missions Company shall be to evangelize; to continue the mission of Jesus Christ; to proclaim the Gospel at home and to the ends of the earth; to provide spiritual teaching, training and formation for growth in Christian faith, living, family life and service. The work shall focus especially on developing, promoting, and supporting Catholic laity, married couples and families engaged in apostolates, ministries and the missionary life, and assisting in the education and spiritual formation of their children. The mission shall always be carried out in fidelity to the authority and teaching magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, and in concert with the pastors of the Church.
Board of Directors
President, Executive Director
Joseph A. Summers
W.P. “Judge” Edwards III
Dr. Michael Melancon
Archbishop Robert Rivas, O.P.
Archbishop of the Diocese of Castries, St. Lucia
Bishop Sam Jacobs
Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Fr. Samuel Fontana
Fr. Stan Holland, TOR
St. Patrick, Tampa, FL
Fr. Glenn Meaux, SOLT
Kobanal Haiti Mission, Founder
Padre Uriel Medina-Romero
Pastor, Coatzacoalcos, Mexico
Fr. Randy Moreau
St. John the Evangelist, Mermentau, LA
International Pro-Life Speaker, Author
Judge Byron Hebert
15th Judicial District, LA
Dr. Ralph Martin
Renewal Ministries, President
Former Sheriff, Lafayette Parish, LA